How the Tour Finals series works - Golf News Net: What you need to know about golf

How the Tour Finals series works

The Tour Finals were first played in 2013 after the PGA Tour amended its Q-school to no longer award PGA Tour status, only Tour status. Instead, the PGA Tour cards once offered through Q-school were brought over into the Tour Finals series.

A total of 150 players qualify for the Tour Finals:

  • The top 75 players on the Tour money list before the start of the Finals
  • Nos. 126-200 in FedEx Cup points through the end of the Wyndham Championship (i.e., the players that didn't qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs)
  • ALSO any non-member that either earns enough FedEx Cup points or Tour money to qualify for the series, despite non-member status

In total, 50 PGA Tour cards -- and their associated priority status -- are on the line. However, that's a bit of  a misnomer.

The top 25 players on the Tour money list before the Tour Finals have already locked up some kind of PGA Tour status for the next season. The top 25 finishers in the Tour Finals money list who did not earn PGA Tour status through the Tour money list, too, earn status. With the exception of the Tour money list winner, however, their priority order is up for grabs in the Tour Finals.

What's priority order? That's the PGA Tour's method of determining the order by which players gain access to tournament fields. So, guys like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, major winners, PGA Tour winners and the like have higher priority, hence, their pick of tournaments.

Players who earn their cards through the Tour and Tour Finals are ordered in their own category based, at the start of the season, on the order in which they finished on the Tour Finals money list. (The Tour and Tour Finals money list winners are in their own fully exempt category.) Later, based on how they play on the PGA Tour, that priority ranking in this category changes several times each season in what's known as a "reshuffle."

This makes a good showing in the Tour Finals important, because the category for the Finals graduates is beneath that of the top 125 in FedEx Cup points from the prior season. That means the top 20 players on the Tour Finals money list stand to get off to a good start and have little trouble scheduling at the start of the year. For the final 30 to earn cards, the pressure is on to make the most of the starts allotted to them.

The four events that comprise the Tour Finals are:

  • Aug. 29–Sept. 1, 2013: Hotel Fitness Championship, Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Sept. 5-8, 2013: Chiquita Classic, The Club at Longview, Weddington, N.C.
  • Sept. 12-15, 2013: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio
  • Sept. 26-29, 2013: Tour Championship, TPC Sawgrass (Dye's Valley Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.


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